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Trainee Retention: Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills reveal retention rates

Following a spate of healthy trainee retention rates in recent weeks, magic circle firm Clifford Chance (CC) and international firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) are the latest to unveil results, recording 75% and 87% respectively.

CC made 42 offers and will keep on 40 out of a total of 53 for its autumn 2014 intake, constituting a decrease of 5% on the firm’s 80% this time last year.

HSF, meanwhile, will retain 41 qualifiers out of a cohort of 47 trainees for the autumn intake, giving it a retention rate of 87%. The result follows strong results posted by the top-ten firm in January, when it announced it would keep 38 out of 42 trainees, giving it a spring retention rate of 90%.

In recent weeks, other firms to show figures includes fellow magic circle firms including Linklaters which kept on 93% of qualifying trainees, Freshfields which retained 82%, and Slaughter and May with 97%. City firm RPC also announced in late July it will keep all 15 trainee solicitors who applied to qualify this year. CMS Cameron McKenna posted more modest results with a retention rate of 67.2%, constituting a marked shift downwards on last year’s results which saw the firm retain 82%. The firm attributed the lower results to the firm’s recent combination with beleaguered Scots firm Dundas & Wilson that went live in May.